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Why My Car Smokes When I Hit the Gas

by Sandra Dalton paralegal

If your car smokes when you accelerate, you have good reason to be concerned. It could be the sign of something minor that will only require an adjustment, but it can mean something is seriously wrong with your engine. The color of the smoke will give you a clue as to the nature of the problem.

Black Smoke

Although it can look like the worst, black smoke is usually a sign of a problem that is easily corrected. It means your fuel mixture is too rich, i.e., too much gas or not enough air. Your carburetor may simply need adjusting or you could have a dirty air filter, stuck choke, bad fuel pump, leaky fuel injector or too much fuel pressure.

White Smoke

White smoke usually means you are burning water and antifreeze. It can get into the engine through a leaking head gasket or cracked cylinder head. White smoke sometimes indicates that you are burning transmission fluid due to a faulty vacuum modulator valve on the transmission.

Blue Smoke

Blue smoke means you are burning oil. That can be caused by bad valve stem seals, a worn valve guide, damaged cylinders or damaged rings.

About the Author

Sandra Dalton began her writing career in 2000, authoring a weekly column about freedom. She received her paralegal certificate from the Center for Legal Studies. Dalton also completed Clayton College's Holistic Care for Companion Animals certificate course and has worked as a veterinary assistant.

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